There are several ways you can take action now to support immigrants and refugees. Check out the advocacy opportunities below to see how you can participate and stay engaged with what is happening now.
Support Afghan Evacuees
So many of us were moved to compassion and action when we watched the US withdrawal from Afghanistan happen in August 2021. Our inboxes were flooded with women asking how they could help, and stepping up to advocate and welcome new neighbors. In the year since the withdrawal, over 70,000 Afghans have been evacuated to the United States.
The good news is that those evacuees have safe, temporary protection here in the United States. However, they don’t have any access to permanent legal status, and while a re-parole process was announced in June 2023, it still does not offer permanent protection. Join us in advocating for an Afghan Adjustment Act to ensure a pathway to permanent, legal status.
Unmute Yourself, Support Dreamers
The overwhelming majority of evangelical Christians—along with most Americans overall, including majorities of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents—want Congress to provide permanent protections for “Dreamers,” young immigrants brought as children to the U.S.
The only way for Dreamers to ultimately have stability is for Congress to pass a permanent legislative solution. In February 2023, the bipartisan Dream Act of 2023 was introduced into the Senate. Our elected officials are much more likely to vote for this solution if they are convinced that their constituents see it as a priority.
Ask your Members of Congress today to stand up for Dreamers, passing legislation that would allow immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to receive permanent protections to live and work here without fears of deportation.
In Spring of 2023, the Florida state legislature proposed a bill that, among other things, would criminalize providing transportation to undocumented immigrants. Our community was concerned that this would infringe upon religious liberties and freedom — making it illegal to do things like drive an undocumented neighbor to church!
Our efforts were successful! In the final version of the bill that passed, Florida lawmakers removed references to knowingly transporting undocumented people within the state. There are still some painful new policies that affect our immigrant neighbors in this bill, but we’re thankful that this piece was stopped.
In Spring of 2021, thousands of unaccompanied children came to our southern border in need of protection. The Office of Refugee Resettlement had to quickly find age-appropriate care for these immigrant children. Unfortunately, some governors didn’t want migrant children cared for in their states. More than 150 women from 35 states contacted their governor advocated for their state to be a welcoming refuge for vulnerable children! While some governors still choose not to welcome migrant children, others relaxed their hard stances allowing for care to continue. We are so encouraged that women continue to raise their voices and speak up for these kids!
Our While In Our Care video series explores the ways in which we care for migrant children who are being processed through the US immigration system. Over 400 of you signed a letter asking First Lady Jill Biden to advocate for children within the current administration. Since this advocacy effort, we’ve seen the administration take positive steps for these children. President Biden formally rescinded the Zero Tolerance Policy (which was used to separate families at the border) and the administration has since established a Family Reunification Task Force to help reunite the thousands of families that were separated at the border under the previous administration.
In terms of the conditions for migrant children in U.S. care, President Biden has closed several detention facilities that were under investigation for poor conditions and inadequate medical care, and began plans in May 2022 to proactively prepare for safe housing for children who may arrive. There is still much progress to be made to ensure that children are always cared for in humane and dignified ways, so we continue to pay particular attention to this subject.
In 2020, over 25,000 in our community signed onto a letter to Ivanka Trump petitioning her to protect vulnerable children at risk of trafficking due to the suspension of key protections of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, a public health order called Title 42 meant that children were being rapidly deported and expelled, instead of processed under the TVPRA guidelines. As an advisor to the President, and a mother who has been outspoken against human trafficking, we believed she was a key ally in the quest to protect children.
The good news is that a court order did re-implement some protections for children, and when President Biden took office, he completely suspended Title 42 for children (though did keep it in place for other populations). Since January 2021, all children arriving at the border go through the procedures to ensure they are not victims of trafficking.